This is a dish that I’ve heard about my whole life, but never tried to make it for myself. My dad was enamored of this dish when he tasted it in Japan and has been trying to re-create that hot Japanese curry flavor ever since. He always says that it is hot enough if it makes your eyelids sweat.
I followed a katsu curry recipe from a YouTube cooking series called “Cooking with Dog”. This is a great series of 50+ Japanese cooking videos, I love that it is narrated by a French poodle! I followed the recipe as given in the video, except for a couple of substitutions based on what I had in my pantry – potato instead of eggplant and chicken instead of pork.
Here’s what the curry cubes look like – there are varying levels of heat – mild, medium hot, and hot. The medium hot was a nice level, but definitely didn’t make my eyelids sweat, so I guess I’ll have to try the hot next time!
You may wonder how such a dish came to be popular in Japan. Curry was introduced to Japan in a round-about way via the British, who picked it up while occupying India. Katsu-kare also involves a fried breaded pork cutlet, called tonkatsu, which was probably picked up through European influence and is similar to the German schnitzel. However it came to be, it’s a popular dish now in Japan, and rightly so — delicious!